Do you have a favorite coffee mug?
I have mugs with all my grandkids on them when they were babies.
Of course, these are very special to me.
I got a Super Bowl Champions Eagles mug from one of my daughters-in-law; this is very special as well.
The baby mugs do their job of delivering my morning coffee.
The Eagles Super Bowl mug is used to display to non-Eagles fans that it may have taken 52 years for me to have one, but now I can drink from it proudly!
In Bible times, clay was used to make drinking vessels.
Paul compares the earthly body to a jar of clay.
These clay jars were a basic household necessity in the first century, holding provisions such as water, wine, or food.
Even if the jars were cracked or chipped, their value was based on the content they held.
Paul wants his readers to know the same is true for believers in Jesus.
Early in his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul attempts to convince his readers that each one of them has extreme worth, dignity, and value even though they are going through hardship.
In 4:7 he says this,
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”
Even though believers may appear broken and cracked, through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling we reveal the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Verse 10 says,
“Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
What does it mean that Christ lives in us?
He lives in us through the Holy Spirit who lives in our human spirit.
He lives there to reproduce Christ’s life through us.
Paul tells us that by the Holy Spirit who indwells us, we have His strength to speak boldly to others about Christ and His Word (vs. 13).
But more so, we can be confident that our broken lives will be made completely whole one day because of Jesus’ resurrection (v. 14a).
When we are presented before the Father, He will not see us as cracked vessels, but instead, He’ll see the perfect life of Christ Jesus who dwells in us (vs. 14b).
Since we are carrying Jesus inside of us, not only can we live with confidence of our final standing with the Lord, but grace can be poured out of our lives so that more and more people will be reached for His glory.
This outpouring of grace that reaches others will cause great thanksgiving as vs. 15 says,
“And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.”
How is grace flowing out of our life today?
As we go about our day, perhaps we could ask ourselves, “How can we display Christ’s gracious life in this situation?”
As jars of clay, our broken lives can overflow with grace, because of the Lord’s resurrection power living through us.
Then our thanksgiving, as well as those lives we touch through Him, will be endless, because grace is the foundation for thanksgiving.
Think about Christ’s life flowing through us as we sip our morning coffee from our favorite mug.
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries